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- What is AboutTheData?
- Acxiom created AboutTheData to give you access to marketing data about you. The types of data include information about web usage (cookie data), mobile devices, and publicly available information such as the type of car you own. The portal also explains how digital marketing services benefit you, such as receiving more relevant ads and offers from your favorite brands. You can also use our free tool to edit some data we have about you. Or, you can choose to opt out of Acxiom's marketing products.
- Who can use AboutTheData?
- The site currently provides information only about U.S. residents. Acxiom is working to expand this service to other countries.
- Where does the data come from?
We live in a connected world, where our digital devices have become a daily part of our lives. Data is collected about us every day by entities from publicly available sources, such as city or state records or census data, or from data providers.
- Data is obtained by Acxiom, either directly or indirectly, from three general types
of original sources:
- government records, public records and publicly available data
- self-reported data
- data from other consumer-facing commercial entities
- Sometimes Acxiom gets this data either:
- directly from the entity that collects it from the consumer or publishes the data (e.g., a government website)
- from intermediaries who compile specific types of data from the originating source for resale, commonly referred to as a compiler
- Data is obtained by Acxiom, either directly or indirectly, from three general types of original sources:
- Why does Acxiom collect data about me? What do you use it for?
Acxiom is one of many companies that provide businesses with "marketing data." This information allows companies to have relevant communications with customers and potential customers—that is, to deliver advertising and offers that they are more likely to find interesting. Ultimately, our clients want consumers to have better experiences than they would as recipients of "junk mail" and random online ads, which typically are wasteful, annoying, and ineffective.
Our data also helps people find businesses or other people. For example, our clients include online directory sites that you use every day to find a local restaurant or to verify an address.
This marketing data is NOT used to make decisions about whether or not to offer a loan or to flag consumers for bad credit. Acxiom is not a consumer reporting agency. While some of our clients deal with consumer reporting agencies, they do not use our data to make a decision about whether a consumer is a good risk or a bad risk.
In addition, some of the data we collect helps companies reduce fraud and identity theft. This data is strictly regulated and is not available for use in our marketing data products or in our customer communications.
- Where does Acxiom get data about me?
Acxiom's marketing and advertising data products are derived from many sources, including public records and publicly available information from sources such as telephone directories, website directories and listings, and real property recorder and assessor filings. Data we receive from other information providers includes demographics (such as gender and age), purchase history, and surveys and questionnaires that have appropriate privacy notification.
Acxiom's marketing and advertising products do not include specific details about a purchase, detailed financial information, credit information, medical information, or social security numbers. Additionally, we will not knowingly collect, use or disclose data for marketing purposes on anyone under the age of 18 or over the age of 59. We do, however, use information related to children to identify and remove minors' records from ours and our client's marketing files.
- What is browser-based (cookie) data?
- What Acxiom refers to as browser-based or "cookie" data is derived from consumers' internet usage. It can come from cookies placed on browsers by websites or from other online sources, such as device IDs or the address of a computer on the internet (IP address). It identifies the device and not a specific individual.
- What is personally identifiable data or information (PII)?
- PII data is defined as information that alone or in combination with other data could be used to identify, contact, or locate a single person, or to identify an individual in context. It includes things such as name and address, telephone number and email address obtained from marketing opt-in lists, surveys, product registrations, and other sources.
- How does Acxiom keep its marketing data safe?
Keeping our marketing data secure is a top priority. Acxiom's secure data centers and security policies are designed to keep your data safe. This includes physical security to prevent unauthorized persons from entering the data center, network security, and data security.
Physical security includes:
- 24/7 onsite security personnel and secure loading docks.
- Fingerprint-activated biometric locking mechanisms.
- Password-protected access to physical facilities.
- Man-traps with weight sensors to determine if equipment is being carried out of the facility.
Network security includes firewalls, intrusion detection systems, password-protected access to web portals, and encryption of data in transit.
- Who governs the collection and use of marketing data?
While privacy of consumer data used for credit, employment, insurance, housing, or other similar purposes is regulated by the federal government, marketing data is not. However, as a global leader in helping clients manage consumer information, Acxiom and its associates worldwide pledge to conduct our business according to a set of global privacy principles.
In addition, Acxiom has long understood the importance of fair information practices and consumer privacy (we have been a leader in this business for more than 45 years). This is why we created AboutTheData, where consumers can see what data has been collected about them, and correct it or opt out of it being used for personalized marketing.
- How does the data marketing industry work?
Acxiom is part of a global industry that aggregates data from a variety of sources and provides it to clients. This data is used by companies, government agencies, and political and non-profit organizations in their marketing, fundraising and customer service programs, both offline and online. By providing insights into consumers' preferences, lifestyles and buying habits, marketing data products enable companies and organizations to tailor their communications to consumers. People like you benefit from the resulting data-driven marketing by receiving ads and offers that are relevant, not random. Acxiom is a leader in this industry with a track record in practicing ethical data use principles spanning more than 45 years. We serve more than 8,000 clients worldwide.
- Why does Acxiom ask for my personal information before allowing access to the data related to me?
- When you register for AboutTheData, we will ask you to provide some identifying information such as name, address, date of birth and last four digits of your social security number (SSN). We need this information so we can validate who you are and protect your privacy—in other words, to make sure only you can access the marketing data related to you on the website. We use the information you enter during registration only to verify you. It is not used for any marketing purposes, and we do not share it with anyone.
- What do you do with the personal information I provide during account activation?
- We do not collect sensitive information such as social security numbers for marketing purposes, and we do not make such information available to our clients for marketing or advertising uses. During AboutTheData registration, we use the last four digits of your social security number to match against our identity authentication product databases only to verify your identity so that we can protect your privacy.
- Why does Acxiom have personal information about me, such as the last four digits of my SSN?
- Acxiom operates a commercial validation service, which has information like your SSN. To help verify your identity, we match the information you enter during registration with this database. This includes using identifying information like your SSN to verify your identity and to help protect against fraud.
- Can I access my data report if I don't want to provide the verification information?
- No. To protect the confidentiality of the marketing data related to you, we need you to provide certain information to ensure you are who you say you are. If you prefer not to provide this information on the website, you can submit this information via email or regular mail. Click here for manual verification instructions, including how to encrypt documents sent in email.
- Can an AboutTheData user see data about other people?
- No. Acxiom protects the privacy of all users. Only verified users can access their personal reports, and only their reports.
- I received a message that you were unable to verify me. What are some possible reasons you couldn't authenticate me through the online registration process?
If you receive this message, it means Acxiom could not match the information you provided with the information we have about you in our database.
To increase the likelihood of successful authentication:
- Use your legal name.
- Use a previous last name (if recently changed).
- Use a previous address (if recently moved).
- Make sure the address is spelled correctly.
- Make sure street extension is correct (Main St. vs. Main Ave., for example).
- Why do I need to be manually authenticated to log into the system?
- If we are unable to validate your identity through the online verification process, we provide a manual authentication option via email or regular mail. We will request some additional information so we can verify you in our system. Once validated, you will receive an email notification with instructions for logging into AboutTheData.
- How do I retrieve my password?
- Click on the "Forgot Password" link on the login page and enter the email address you used to sign up for AboutTheData. You will receive an email with directions on how to reset your password.
- How do I change the email preferences for my AboutTheData account?
- Once logged in, you can change your email preferences by going to the My Account menu, and then clicking Settings. You can modify the types of email marketing communications you would like to receive from AboutTheData.
- Can I update my email address that I used to activate my account?
- No. This email address is linked to your account and cannot be changed without deleting your existing account. To change the email address, first delete your account by visiting Account Settings, and then reregister your account using the updated email address.
- Can I delete my AboutTheData account?
Yes. To delete your AboutTheData account, log into the website, go to My Account, and then click Settings. After reviewing the information about what it means to delete your account, click the Delete My Account button. You will receive an email confirming your account has been deleted.
NOTE: Deleting your AboutTheData account is not the same as opting out of Acxiom's digital marketing services or opting out of all Acxiom marketing products.
- Can I reactivate my AboutTheData account once deleted?
- Yes. However, you will need to go through the secure registration again from the start.
- Why does AboutTheData show me the same information in more than one place?
- You may see many data elements in your report that appear the same but which are actually different. For example, the sub-types for the data element "Toy Purchases" include: Baby Toy purchases, Children's Learning Toy Purchases, and Collectible Toy Purchases.
- When I edit information, when will the changes take effect?
- Edits will appear on the AboutTheData website immediately. However, your changes could take 180 days or less to be populated in all of our marketing products due to the cadence of our regularly scheduled maintenance.
- Will the edits I make on this site affect marketing data about other people in my household?
- The data displayed in the categories is related to the name and address you provided when you created your account. Some of the data is associated with your address and therefore changes you make may change the data for others who live at the same address.
- Why is some of the data about me incorrect?
Acxiom makes every effort to achieve a high-level of accuracy so that marketers can tailor their communications to be relevant for their customers and potential customers. However, we can never get the data 100% right. There are a number of reasons data about you might be incorrect, such as:
- Something changed. Sometimes the latest data is not available in our databases, either because a change has not been provided to us or because we do not have a source for the updated information.
- Much of Acxiom marketing data is compiled and reported at the "household" level. But it can be hard to define a household. Acxiom defines a household as consumers living at the same address with the same last name and does not assume that adults with different last names are a "household." Sometimes people who lived in the same household previously or people who pay a bill for others can still be associated with the household (such as adult children or parents). This means related data would be grouped into our record for a household.
- Information can be out of date, related to a previous address, job, household member's interests or other demographics. While Acxiom is very careful about our data sources, old data can still slip through.
- Sources can be incorrect, either because of a mistake during data entry or an incorrect inference made about the data. For example, a magazine subscription may suggest an interest in golf, but if the subscription was a gift for someone not in your household, the wrong "interest inference" may be designated to your household.
We do our best to ensure the quality of our marketing data. However, we receive data from hundreds of sources, and we depend on these sources for the quality of the information.
We monitor this data and retire sources that provide information that is not accurate or is severely out of date. We want this data to be accurate not only for consumers but also for our customers, because better data allows them to deliver more relevant ads and offers.
This is one reason we created AboutTheData and the tools it provides, so that you can help monitor and update the data related to you. After all, no one knows your information better than you.
- Why is my birthdate incorrect in the report?
Acxiom has two separate databases — one used for marketing and another for fraud detection and prevention. The fraud detection and prevention database contains sensitive information and is only allowed to be used by qualified companies to verify the identity of consumers and to investigate suspicious transactions for fraud prevention.
When you enter your date of birth during the AboutTheData secure registration process, we validate that against Acxiom's fraud detection and prevention database. The date of birth you see on the AboutTheData report comes from Acxiom's marketing database, which as hard as we try, is not always accurate because we rely on a variety of external sources.
- If I opt out, how soon will it take effect?
AboutTheData provides multiple options regarding the data about you. This includes editing an element, deleting an element, and opting out. Or, you can opt out of all of Acxiom's marketing products, both digital and offline, through the Opt-Out process on the website. The Opt-Out process may take up to 120 days to take effect across all products, due to the cadence of our scheduled maintenance.
You can also opt out of Acxiom's cookie-based products. Selecting this cookie-based Opt-Out triggers the installation of an Opt-Out cookie that will prevent the use of an Acxiom cookie on your browser from being used for targeted online marketing. These Opt-Outs take effect immediately and will remain in effect as long as the Opt-Out cookie remains on the browser. The Opt-Out will be limited to the browser that you used when selecting the cookie-based Opt-Out.
- If I opt out of Acxiom's browser-based/cookie or digital marketing data, will I stop receiving digital advertising?
No, you will still receive advertising. Opting out with Acxiom will simply make the digital advertising you see from our clients and partners less relevant to your interests.
- What are the implications for opting out on Acxiom?
We respect every consumer's decision to opt out of our marketing data. However, it's our responsibility to let you know that opting out of Acxiom data will not reduce the volume of ads and offers you receive; instead, the ones you do receive will just be more random. The chart below shows some of the reasons why one study found 70 percent of consumers prefer to receive ads and offers tailored to their interests and buying habits*.
Also, Acxiom is just one company in a large industry that gathers data and provides it to a variety of organizations—ranging from political campaigns to retailers to manufacturers. These organizations use the data to deliver ads and promotions to those people who are most likely to be interested in their offerings and communications. Opting out of the use of Acxiom data will not prevent marketers from using similar data provided by the many other companies that provide marketing data.
Opting Out Not Opting Out Same number of ads and offers Same number of ads and offers May miss sales or special promotions Receive notices to relevant sales and special promotions Receive random/mass-marketing ads Ads feel personalized and relevant to your interests No guidance for online shopping Makes online shopping easier with direct links
As a leader in the ethical use of data for marketing purposes, Acxiom respects every consumer's legitimate concerns for privacy. If your concerns outweigh the benefits of personalized marketing, we have made it easy to opt out of the use of our data by marketers. Click here to opt out.
- Will opt outs be sent to other companies or Acxiom clients?
No, opt outs are applied only to marketing data and products Acxiom controls. There are a number of companies that provide data to marketers for use in digital advertising. You may also want to check out Data & Marketing Association's consumer choice services, which applies to all DMA member companies, or the Digital Advertising Alliance's Webchoice Check.
If you are a data-driven marketer, Liveramp's Glossary of Terms is a useful reference tool to navigate the marketing industry.